Winkleman: ‘I thought nobody would watch Sewing Bee!’

The presenter of The Great British Sewing Bee has revealed she was worried the show might be a flop when filming began on the first series.

“I love The Great British Bake Off so when the makers of that phoned me up and asked me would I like to work on their new show I replied – ‘I love you, I’ll do whatever you want!'” laughed Claudia Winkleman during a recent interview for the second series of the sewing show.

The BBC2 programme, which saw 81-year-old yoga enthusiast Ann crowned queen of the sewing circle, pulled in 2.7 million viewers for it’s series finale and was immediately recommissioned. Claudia, however, had some doubts early in the filming process.

“When I turned up on the first day I phoned my agent and I said ‘Jo, I’m in a room of people bent over machines… nobody’s going to watch it.’ But thankfully they did!”

She added: “The contestants are brilliant because they don’t want to be on telly. There isn’t any fake tension, they just want to sew the best they can.

“Normally they’d sew in their front rooms watching telly and all of a sudden they’re doing it with the cameras on them! It makes for a different atmosphere. You can tell a lot about people’s personalities when they’re under pressure, the cameras are on and it becomes more important.”

The new six-part series airs on BBC2 on Tuesday 18th February, and will see 10 contestants battling it out under the watchful eyes of expert sewing judges May Martin and Savile Row’s Patrick Grant.